A new study appearing in the journal PLOS ONE suggests that non-experts can make valuable contributions to crowdsourced research projects. Participants in the study were presented with images taken from biofuel maps. Non-experts were just as proficient as their better-trained peers when it came to spotting evidence of human impact in the images. They were, however, slightly worse at identifying the type of land cover present in each image. "The main point right now is that we can use the information provided by citizen scientists," said Linda See, a geographer for the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

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